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Variax Bass 705 is too hot for Helix with VDI


Tripper
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When I plug my Variax Bass 705 to my Helix via the VDI, it distorts the input horribly.

 

Turning on the guitar pad obviously does nothing, since that affects the analog guitar input, so I used a gain block to bring down the level, but the only way I could get it to stop distorting on the louder models on the 705 was to drop my input level by 18dB, which is crazy. And it sounds sort of weak and flat.

 

Is that gain block trick my only recourse for making this bass work with my Helix? I even tried it through the 1/4" output with the guitar pad engaged and still had to keep the gain block on there set to at least -12db to use the MANTA model. 

 

I guess I could try the Aux input maybe, but I'd really rather use the VDI if there's a better solution than the gain block.

 

Any and all help is much appreciated!

Tripper

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 the only way I could get it to stop distorting on the louder models on the 705 was to drop my input level by 18dB, which is crazy. And it sounds sort of weak and flat.

 

 

Does it still sound weak if you turn up your monitoring (Helix output/speaker input/etc.) 18dB to make up for it? Also, if you have a Variax guitar, is its output in the ballpark of the 705 with -18dB gain block, or is there clipping going on there too?

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Does it still sound weak if you turn up your monitoring (Helix output/speaker input/etc.) 18dB to make up for it? Also, if you have a Variax guitar, is its output in the ballpark of the 705 with -18dB gain block, or is there clipping going on there too?

 

It does help a little to boost it up, but it still sounds sort of flat and without detail to me.  

 

My Variaxes (original, 300, and JTV69) have never sounded quite right with the VDI, but I don't think they're slamming the input the way the Bass 705 does. I wonder if there's something in the settings of the 705 that I could change to lower its overall output level so I don't have to fix it in the Helix.

 

I've never had this problem with my X3 Live or my HD500 when running this particular instrument, so it was a major shock when everything sounded like complete lollipop with Helix through the VDI. I mean, the patch I created to test it was literally just an amp and cab block (I tried many and they all distort with the VB 705 - like it's clipping out before that block).

 

Tripper

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It does help a little to boost it up, but it still sounds sort of flat and without detail to me.

 

My Variaxes (original, 300, and JTV69) have never sounded quite right with the VDI, but I don't think they're slamming the input the way the Bass 705 does. I wonder if there's something in the settings of the 705 that I could change to lower its overall output level so I don't have to fix it in the Helix.

 

I've never had this problem with my X3 Live or my HD500 when running this particular instrument, so it was a major shock when everything sounded like complete lollipop with Helix through the VDI. I mean, the patch I created to test it was literally just an amp and cab block (I tried many and they all distort with the VB 705 - like it's clipping out before that block).

 

Tripper

If you haven't already it might be worth experimenting with changing the input block from "Multi" to "Variax" or vice-versa. Also the usual advice of unplugging and reseating the VDI cable on both sides. Is the Variax Bass 705 upgraded to whatever the last firmware was for that instrument? Even if it is perhaps reflashing it would help? I wonder if everyone with the Variax Bass 705 is having the same issue?
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Here's a way to see if it is actually clipping at the input.

 

1) Create a Helix path with *nothing* in it - no amp, nothing.

2) Set the input to Variax Models (not Variax)

3) Set the output to USB 1/2

4) Connect Helix to a computer with a DAW

5) Record-enable a track and observe the meter

 

If the meter hits the top, you know it's digital clipping from the 705 sending too hot a signal. If not, then it was probably just "analog-modeled" distortion of being too hot at the input to the amp and a Gain plug + compressor or similar tool might be in order.

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